Decisions by the members of the West Grove Fire Company made in the 1990s paid off at a house fire on Saginaw Road early Saturday morning. A strategic decision to build a Firehouse in the growing community around New London (and later in the 2000s in London Britain Township) was based on the belief that getting emergency resources out in the community was the right approach for the West Grove Fire Company (rather than being centralized in just West Grove).
That decision helped tremendously when the fire engine from the New London Station arrived quickly to a house reported on fire Saturday. A passing motorist noticed smoke coming from a residence and stopped to see if anyone was home, and called 911. The Chester County 911 Center dispatched the WGFC, along with units from Avondale, Oxford, and Cochranville.
Engine 22-2 arrived on location, along with Chief 22; smoke coming from the eaves was reported. Engine 22-2 dropped a large diameter supply line at end of the driveway and proceeded forward. The crew put on air packs and advanced an attack line to the front door. Upon forced entry, the crews found the house full of smoke, with no visibility and high heat conditions.
Ladder 22 also arrived and began to set up the aerial ladder to the roof, and crews began to place ground ladders around the structure.
In the interior, the attack crew located the source of fire and quickly extinguished the fire, and began ventilation. It was discovered that a player piano was on fire -- and it was removed from the structure. The interior wall behind the piano location was opened up and thermal imaging cameras were used to assure no fire extension. Crews also checked the roof and high ceilings internally.
Ladder 21 from Oxford arrived and also laddered the building. Oxford's Engine 21-4 set up on the supply line to provide a water source, with Tanker 22 and Engine 22-3 arriving to supply water for the firefighting. Rescue 27 arrived from Cochranville to provide a rapid intervention team. Crews from Avondale also assisted, as did both WGFC ambulance crews. Tankers from 21 and 23 were also on scene.
Fortunately, the high cathedral ceiling provided an area for the high heat to collect, and the fire remained contained until crews arrived. There was heat and smoke damage to the home, charring of a wood ceiling, and damage on one main wall, but quick work prevented more serious damage.
Crews wrapped up in about two hours.